In Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) and Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE), B-cell depletion therapy using rituximab results in variable clinical responses between individuals, which likely relates to variable B-cell depletion in the presence of immune defects. Outcomes in clinical trials with other type I anti-CD20 mAbs, ocrelizumab and ofatumumab, are comparable to rituximab. A mechanistically different type II mAb, obinutuzumab (OBZ), with greater capacity for B-cell depletion, has recently entered clinical trials in SLE. Here we consider whether type II anti-CD20 mAbs will provide mechanistic advantages to overcome the disease-related immune defects in autoimmune diseases such as SLE.
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